White Center is part of Rothko's signature multiform style: several blocks of layered, complementary colors on a large canvas. A luminosity results from the repeated layering of thin washes of paint, which allows some underpainting to show through the upper coats. In each work of this period, Rothko sought only subtle variations in proportion and color, yet achieved within this limited format a broad range of emotions and moods.
The work was sold in May 2007 by Sotheby's on behalf of David Rockefeller to the Royal family of Qatar; Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and his wife, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missned. The painting sold for 72.84 million (USD), setting the record of the current most expensive post-war work of art sold at auction.